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'Inferno' At Hospital In India Kills Scores, Staff Accused Of Running

A grieving woman at the scene of today's fire in Kolkata.
AFP/Getty Images
A grieving woman at the scene of today's fire in Kolkata.

Horrific news from Kolkata, India:

"A basement fire sent flames and smoke coursing through a seven-story Indian hospital Friday, killing 89 people," The Associated Press reports, "and officials accused hospital staff of abandoning many patients to die of suffocation."

The Times of India writes that the owners of AMRI hospital in Kolkata have now been arrested. According to the newspaper, "70 patients and three hospital staff were among those killed at the multistoreyed private hospital which turned into a towering inferno in the early morning hours."

India's NDTV, reports that "families of the victims and the government accuse the privately-owned and posh hospital of ignoring basic fire safety laws; they also say that after the fire began, doctors and staff members abandoned patients, many of who were immobile."

Update at 5:47 p.m. ET. Death Toll Rises:

We've updated the lede of this post to reflect new reports that 89 people were killed because of the fire.

The AP has also moved this video of the aftermath:

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Mark Memmott
Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.